How Is This Not Yet a Major Motion Picture?

Last week I was talking about ideas and how they’re everywhere. Over the weekend, I came face to face with a great idea that I’m stunned nobody has (apparently) jumped on.

My wife and I took a weekend trip to Lexington, Kentucky, and wound up at the Kentucky Horse Park. It’s a pretty neat place, sprawling through horse country with lots of interesting stuff to take a look at. One feature is the Hall of Champions, where several horses who won big-time races are housed. We met a couple of Kentucky Derby winners, but the one that stood out was this guy, Da Hoss:


Da Hoss (not to be confused with this ditty) won the Breeders Cup Mile in 1996. An impressive enough accomplishment, given that American horses are rarely the best on grass, the surface on which that particular race is run (British horses run more regularly on grass). More impressive is what came after.

For two years, Da Hoss battled injuries and didn’t race, but came back into form in time for the 1998 edition of the Breeders Cup. He won a preliminary race in Virginia, but it was against lowly regarded opposition so nobody gave him much notice.

Then in the 1998 Breeders Cup race this happened:

Notice how the announcer basically gives up on Da Hoss as they come through the final turn (he says the horse is “stopping”). Nonetheless the horse comes through in the end, winning by a nose. It’s one of the most exciting races – horse or otherwise – I’ve ever seen.

My first thought upon seeing the video and the horse was “how is this not a major motion picture yet?” Given the success of Seabiscuit you’d think a tale of animal powered redemption that had the convenient trick of being true would be an easy sell. So many sports movies manipulate the truth to arrive at the final Big Game that I’m stunned nobody has taken up one that wouldn’t need that kind of trickery. Maybe it’s out there in development hell somewhere, but it doesn’t seem to be.

Damn shame I don’t write screenplays (or sports stories). This one practically writes itself.


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